Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still Tweaking.....

It's Wednesday!  We have 3 days under our belts this week.  Samuel is doing very well with workboxes and Emily seems to be really enjoying her curriculum.  She is on the couch reading C.S. Lewis as I type.

This morning we did our Backyard Habitat worksheet and Samuel was a natural.  He found a brown moth hanging upside down on a leaf under a bush.  It was so camouflaged!  He was very excited about his discovery.  He was also very cute with his magnifying glass!

I have been going through recipes and sorting them by category.  I am also going to put the ones we use more frequently in a special binder.  I had a file box full of them from when we moved last and it looks like an overwhelming project.  I figure if I just do a few minutes a day ( maybe  when we are watching TV or something) then I will eventually get it finished.

Here is one that we like (even the kids).  It is quick and easy.

Frito Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 can chili (16 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese
3 1/2 c Frito chips
1 1/4 c sour cream
Brown ground beef and drain. Stir in chili, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and 1/4 c cheese.
Sprinkle Frito chips in bottom of 8x8 baking dish.  Cover with chili mixture.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Spread sour cream on top.  Sprinkle remaining Frito chips and cheese on sour cream and bake 5 minutes more.

Once I get a handle on my big recipe box,  I'll post some more quick and easy recipes.  I am hoping that I can get these together for my house to be able to get dinner on the table without spending so much time in the kitchen.   I also think this will help to plan our menus ahead and that will save not only time, but money too.  If I know ahead what I am planning to make then I can shop for those items and not have to run out at the last moment for them.
I can also look for coupons for these items ahead of time.

This is the time of year that a lot of us go into organization overdrive.  I am still tweaking my homeschool plans and working on menu plans and recipes and have other projects in mind for the next few weeks.  All a part of a continuing homemaking journey.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Starting School and Loosing a Tooth

Emily started the new school year today!  She was so cute!  She worked very hard at getting everything layed out, loaded on her computer, and getting her notebooks set up. She has everything so neat and organized.   She also started reading, "Mere Christianity" by C.S.  Lewis.  She is loving that!  Really, she loves C.S. Lewis and had to tell me all about the 1st chapter.  She had a great 1st day!

I also started with Samuel, but we just did a couple of hours today.  I had errands to run this morning and other household things that had to get done.  Tomorrow we will do more.  He really seemed to like the workboxes.   I also took him to the library while returning books this morning.  We came out with a bag full!

SarahAnne is visiting with my parents this week and will start Monday, August 2, 2010.   By then, I will have already finished the first week with Samuel and that should make it smooth for her.   Plus, he will spend next week with the grandparents.  We don't normally start like this, but time got  away from us this summer and we promised them they could each have a week with momaw and papaw.

For two weeks or so, Samuel has been bothered by a loose tooth.  It is his first!  Finally, he had enough and tonight right before bed he wanted me to pull it.  He was a real trooper.  He was so tickled to have it out!  We took pictures and he called momaw and papaw.  Now he is in bed awaiting the tooth fairy!  A great ending to his first day in 2nd grade!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have been working to get all things in order for the coming school year, it is good to get this done. I have purchased curriculum, purged book shelves, printed workbox labels and tags, read and researched, and plan to start August 2nd.   I have also visited some back to school isles at Target, Dollar-Tree and Walmart.  We really don't  need  anything, except tape and glue sticks, but I can't help looking!

Emily, however may start this Monday, July 26th. She wants to get a little head start, just in case she needs a break later. Heading into her sophomore year, she is (always has been) quite the planner. Give the girl a calendar/planner and she is happy. This year she will be using The Well-Guided High Schooler  from The Home Educating Family Magazine.  We picked it up at The Mid-West Homeschooling Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.   (I will try to post a link soon!)

Next week, I intend to work on Menu plans, stocking the pantry, chore charts, our calendar, budget, and some plans to craft with the kids. These should keep me plenty busy, along with day to day stuff. I am hopeful that all of this preparation will pay off with a great school year.

Our weather here has been so HOT! And, of course our air conditioner hasn't been working right. Today, (with a projected temperature of 100 degrees) we have been relieved! Our air is cooling once again! The capacitor needed replaced. I am so thankful for cool air!

It looks like many across the US are also in a heat wave this weekend.  Others have had flooding and  in the gulf a tropical storm looms in the sea.  But, God is in control of it all and I am reminded of this verse;  Isaiah 40:8  "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plans for 2010-2011

This school year we are trying some new curriculum and workboxes. I am really excited and hope that it all lives up to ALL that I have read!

For Emily, my 10th grader:
Geometry- Teaching Textbooks

Chemistry- Apologia.... We have used Apologia for General Science, Physical Science, and Biology and have never been disappointed, only challenged!

History/English- Notgrass Exploring World History - This includes English and Bible.

Latin- Latina Christiana II - She plans to finish this in one semester and start the next level in January.

Spanish- Rosetta Stone... Emily will finish Level One which she has already started.

We will also add some Phys. Ed and continue a writing project.

For SarahAnne, my 4th grader:
History, Geography, Reading, Science, Bible, Music and Art- My Father's World- Exploring Countries and Cultures

Math- We will be using a mix of Internet sites, games and workbooks for part of the 1st semester and then probably going with Teaching Textbooks later.

Spelling- undecided still.

We will also add some Phys. Ed other activities as the year progresses.

For Samuel, my 2nd grader:
History, Geography, Reading, Science, Bible, Music and Art- My Father's World-Exploring Countries and Cultures

Math- We will be using a mix of Internet sites, games and workbooks.

Spelling- still undecided.

We will also add some Phys. Ed and other activities as the year progresses.

Emily will be working very independently again this year. She has already started planning and we have a couple of planning discussions. She is excited and very motivated this year. (She always gets so excited at the beginning of the year!)
She is also looking forward to the possibility of Driver's Ed. (She is, I'm not!)

We are using workboxes this year! I have read other blogs and researched different ways of setting them up and I am almost ready!

We have home schooled since Emily was in the 1st grade and every year holds changes and challenges. I thank God that He allows us to home school. I believe in it more every year. I see the benefits of it and I love the rewards of it!

I do not have all of the answers. In fact, I still have a lot of questions and THAT is a benefit of homeschooling.... We learn together and from each other!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The most precious things....

Yesterday, we received news that a young man from our hometown had been killed in Afghanastan. He was on his 4th tour and engaged to be married this fall. This shocked us and broke our hearts. Some of the most precious things that God give to us are our families, friends and our memories. We thank God for the memories that he gives us when we no longer can hold the hand of our loved ones.
I hope that we can all show love to those we hold dear and strive each day to take more time with them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm so new!

I haven't worked on this blog at all today. I have been busy working on workbox ideas and getting ready for school this fall. My head is spinning with ideas! I will work next week on some links and such for here. I know I have so much to learn and I will probably be slow about it, because the kids come first, ya know!
It is FINALLY raining here in NC! We have had almost no rain all summer. We sure do need it. Thank you God for the rain!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My first BLOG

Hello. Today I have just jumped in... into the world of blogging. I have so much to learn and hopefully to share. Please be patient with me as I learn.

We are a homeschooling family and we truly embrace learning. My husband Matt and I have been married for 16 years. We have a beautiful daughter Emily who is 14 and loves music and reading. Our second beautiful daughter, SarahAnne is 8 and loves horses and art (especially drawing). Our son, Samuel just turned 7 and loves (at present time-LOL) Toy Story (1,2,and3), Transformers and Legos.

We live in North Carolina. We enjoy traveling and seeing God's beautiful world. We recently went on vacation to Tennessee. It is one of our favorite places! We love driving through the Smoky Mountains. It just lowers my blood pressure...LOL

I hope to post some about our curriculum and our journey in homeschooling. I hope that I may share something with you that will be helpful and I will try to always give credit to where it is due.

May God bless you as we travel through this world together.